BIM For Facility Managment – FM

First and foremost “BIM” is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology. 3D visualization tools, such as Revit, Archicad, Bentley, etc. represent only one of several technologies and business processes/competencies required for efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.

There are far more important considerations, such as CPMS, efficient project delivery methods such as IPD and JOC, CMMS, BAS, CAFM, Portfolio Management, Property Management, life-cycle costing,  etc. etc.

Leveraging a robust ontology and quantitatively measuring physical and functional building levels and actively managing capital reinvestment over time.. with a focus upon life-cycle costs and impacts vs. first costs are the most important considerations to a successful strategy.

BIM – Technology – LEAN Construction – Process

There are those that believe that the desire to utilize BIM is outpacing technology.

This belief is ill-founded.

The REAL issue is that many Owners, Contractors, AE’s, BPMs (business product manufactures), and oversight groups are being outpaced due to their lack of understanding of “basic” BIM PROCESSES.

BIM is NOT 3-D rendering or collision detection.  Tools like Revit, ArchiCAD, Bentely, et al, are only components of a total BIM solution.

BIM is a PROCESS, combined and integrated with supporting TECHNOLOGY(IES) to enable life-cycle management of the built environment.

Cloud technology will support web-centric collaboration and associated secure/rapid data exchange, as well as associated taxonomies, data architectures, etc. such as COBIE, IFC, OMNICLASS (and associated UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, etc.), STEP…

The integration of the following TECHNOLOGIES, PROCESSES, and COMPETENCIES via CLOUD enablement will expedite BIM:

Efficient Construction Delivery Methods and Software: ( IPD – Integrated Project Delivery, JOC – Job Order Contracting, JOC is IPD specifically for repair, renovation, sustainability and new construction; whereas IPD is for major new construction).

Capital Planning and Management Systems-CPMS: Facility condition assessment, multi-year capital planning scenario analysis.

Space Planning – CAFM: Utilization, hoteling.

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems – CMMS:  Routine/preventitive maintenance of “moveable” equipment (typically under $5,000-$10,000, vs. capital issues.

Building Automation Systems – BAS: Automated HVAC, Security, Energy monitoring and control systems.

Geographic Information Systems – GIS:  Physical location systems.

A single “BIM” system will not support the above, and likely will not for a long time.
(Those that have implemented “ERP” systems, are honest with themselves, know the folly of assuming that implementing a single technology will improve and/or manage disparate processes.)

Technology is not the limiting factor relative to BIM,  however, a thorough understanding of the basic concepts, components, and processes associated with BIM, and gaining the appropriate level of competency within each domain, is certainly a challenge.

Equally daunting is gaining the associated requisite support of upper management within the Owner, Contractor, AE and other communities.

BIM Deployment Plan from Revit / Autodesk

BIM Strategy

The Autodesk BIM Deployment Plan – tools and guidance for building industry professionals interested in implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM) – is a reasonable framework for those beginning to investigate BIM, however, it lacks requisite depth relative to 4d, 5d BIM as well as contruction delivery methodology.  

A comprehensive BIM strategy from an owner perspective (and, in my opinion contractor and A/E’s as well as other stakeholders), should include capital planning and management (lifecycle costing, capital renewal, physical/functional conditions management), operations and maintenance (repair, maintenance, minor renovations-preventive, routine, maintenace), space planning/management, and integration of efficient construction devlivery methodsy (JOC – Job Order Contracting for facility repair/maintenance, IPD – Integrated Project Delivery for new construction, etc.), and associated reference cost data, standard definitions/metrics/taxonomy, ….

Tools offered in the Autodesk BIM deploym,ent plan are intended to provide a practical framework for AEC stakeholders, and can be used by individual organizations on specific projects. The BIM Deployment Plan includes:

  • BIM support materials for owners, architects, engineers, and contractors
  • Templates to streamline multi-discipline communications
  • Recommendations for roles and responsibilities
  • Best business process examples
  • Software suggestions for an effective BIM environment


Definitions of Terms Used in This Document

As-Built Model Model

—The final model that shows how a building was actually delivered and assembled. Sometimes referred to as the Record Model.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)—An integrated process aimed at providing coordinated, reliable information about a building project throughout different project phases—from design through construction and into operations.  BIM gives architects, engineers, builders, and owners a clear overall vision of the project—to help them make better decisions faster, improve quality, and increase profitability of the project. 
Clash Detection — The process of checking for clashes and interferences in the design of one or more BIM models.


Collaborative Project Management — A software solution that enables effective management of and collaboration on all project related communication, information, and business processes across the plan, build, and operate phases of the building lifecycle. The most common processes include collaborative documentation, design, bid, construction, cost, and operations management.  (Examples of software include Project Estimator for JOC construction delivery).     Coordination Model—A model created from two or more models, used to show the relationship of multiple building disciplines such as architectural, civil, structural, and MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing).

Core Collaboration Team —The group of people – which should include someone from each party working on the project, such as the owner, architect, contractor, subconsultants, suppliers, and trade contractors—responsible for completing a BIM Deployment Plan, creating the document management file folder structure and permission levels in the collaborative project management system, and enforcing the action plan set out in that document throughout design and construction of the project.
Design Intent Model —The model used to communicate the design intent of a building.
Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) —A neutral and open file format structure developed by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) to enable interoperability between modeling software systems.
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)—A project delivery process (similar to JOC for facility repair, renovation, and sustainabilty)  that integrates people, systems, business structures, and practices to collaboratively harness the talents and insights of all participants in order to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency throughout all phases of design, fabrication, and construction (AIA,  Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide , 2007, available at
Model Integrator—A tool used to combine and/or link design files from different software platforms.
Model Manager(s)—The project team member(s) responsible for managing the collaboration and sharing of electronic files during the project. Model managers are also responsible for maintaining the integrity of BIM models, which can include gathering, linking, and uploading updated models.
Parametric —The relationships among and between all elements of a model that enable coordination and change management. These relationships are created either automatically by the software or manually by users as they work.
Project System Administrator (PSA) —The person who administers, and sets up folders for, the collaborative project management system. Responsible for managing and creating new user accounts, as well as contact and company information.